Clarets Duo Included In Bootham Crescent All Time XI

Nick Pope & Paul Barnes Included In Bootham Crescent All Time XI

After eighty-nine years of football being played in the city centre of York, the curtain has finally come down on York City’s famous old stadium Bootham Crescent, as the turnstiles were closed for the final time against Guiseley on the 28th December 2020. The clubs long awaited move to Monk’s Cross will see the Minstermen take on Curzon Ashton in their first match at the new LNER Community Stadium.

At the end of December 2020, as part of the celebrations and to mark the closing of the stadium, the York City supporters were asked to vote for their overall ‘best ever’ players to have played on the hallowed turf of Bootham Crescent. In 4-4-2 formation and using five substitutes, the following players will be known as the Bootham Crescent ‘Best XI’.

Dean Kiely (Goalkeeper) 1990-1996

Irish international goalkeeper Dean Kiely kept an impressive 70 clean sheets for the Minstermen in 210 league appearances. After joining from Coventry City Kiely played in some notable games for York City, including the famous 3-0 victory over Manchester Utd in the League Cup at Old Trafford in 1995. He also saved a penalty in the shootout against Crewe Alexandra in the 1993 Third Division play-off final victory at Wembley. He left York City for Bury and went on to play in the Premier League for Charlton Athletic, Portsmouth and West Brom. He is currently working as goalkeeping coach at Crystal Palace. (Appearances 239, Clean sheets 82)

Andy McMillan (Right-Back) 1987–1999

South African full-back McMillan is second in all-time appearances for York City playing 492 times over 11 years. He played in some of the most famous games in York’s history including the 1993 Third Division play-off final victory at Wembley and also the League Cup giant-killings of Manchester United and Everton. McMillan went on to play for Ayr United before retiring and going into coaching, including at one time a role in the York City youth academy. (Appearances 492, Goals 5)

John MacPhail (Centre-Back) 1983–1986

Centre-back John MacPhail played for York City 173 times after joining from Sheffield United. His time at City included the 1983-1984 season where his side won the Fourth Division Championship with a record 101 points. The following season y also the FA Cup run the following year, in which York beat Arsenal and took then-European Cup holders Liverpool to a replay. MacPhail scored an impressive 29 goals for City, and was once fined soon after signing from Sheffield United for using an under 24 railcard on his way from Sheffield to York. MacPhail was 28 at the time. He finished his career in 1994 as player manger with Hartlepool United. (Appearances 173, Goals 29)

David McGurk (Centre-Back) 2004-2014

McGurk played in York City’s defence across three loan spells before joining permanently from Darlington in 2006. He went on to make over 300 appearances for the club with perhaps his best moment coming in the second leg of the 2010 Conference play-off semi final at Luton Town, where he made a brilliant goal-saving tackle on the Luton striker to help his team reach the play-off final. McGurk played in a number of Wembley finals with York City and is currently the manager of Hyde United in the Northern Premier League. (Appearances 332, Goals 6)

Wayne Hall (Left-Back) 1989–2001

Left-back Wayne Hall played 438 times for York City, his time at the club included a hugely successful period in which York City played in the Second Division. ‘Ginner’ helped them get to these heights, scoring the winning penalty in the shootout against Crewe Alexandra in the 1993 Third Division play-off final. He also played in the FA Cup shocks against Manchester United and Everton. A huge fan favourite, Hall now works as a prison officer. (Appearances 438, Goals 11)

Jon McCarthy (Winger) 1990–1995

Northern Ireland international right-winger Jon McCarthy was part of the team that won promotion through the Third Division play-offs in the 1992/93 season. He won City’s Clubman of the Year twice before signing for Port Vale for £450,000, which was at that time York’s record transfer fee received by the club. He went on to play for Birmingham City and Sheffield Wednesday and since retiring McCarthy he has managed Chester and he is currently assistant-manager at Southport. (Appearances 234, Goals 38)

Nigel Pepper (Centre-Midfield) 1990–1997

Another member of that 1993 Third Division play-off final victory, Pepper was a central midfielder who played 281 times for York City, scoring 45 goals. His performance that day at Wembley against Crewe, including a successful penalty in the shootout, is made even more impressive by the fact it was found soon after that he was diabetic. He was also part of the famous cup games against Manchester United and Everton, and scored in his last game for the club. He went on to play for Bradford and Aberdeen among others, eventually retiring from football in 2008. (Appearances 281, Goals 45)

Neal Bishop (Centre-Midfield) 2006–2007

Midfielder Neal Bishop only made 63 appearances for the Minstermen, but made a huge impression with the York City fans. He won the Clubman of the Year award in 2007. He joined from Scarborough in 2006 and most memorably scored a brilliant volley from outside the box on the last day of the 2006/07 season to secure a play-off place for the Minstermen. After leaving York City he went on to have a successful Football League career with teams such as Notts County, Blackpool and Scunthorpe United. Now age thirty-nine he is currently playing for Scarborough Athletic. (Appearances 63, Goals 4)

Matty Blair (Winger) 2011-13

Blair’s career saw him play football in the noni-league with Stratford, Bedworth Town, Redditch and Telford United and Kidderminster respectively before joining York City. That season saw City finally make it out of the Conference, with Blair playing a starring role chalking up 52 appearances and scoring 20 goals, including one in the Play-off Final. After another year at Bootham Crescent, he switched to fellow League Two side Fleetwood Town and earned yet another promotion. He is now plying at Cheltenham Town, following a few years at Doncaster Rovers and showing no signs of giving up football any time soon. (Appearances 101, Goals 27)

Paul Barnes (Striker) 1992-95

Paul Barnes cemented his place in the history books with a brace against Manchester United in that famous 1995 FA Cup victory. The following summer he was poached by Birmingham City for a then-record fee of £350,000. Barnes must be up there as one of Bootham Crescent’s very best; making 179 appearances games over four seasons scoring 85 goals, before spells at Burnley and Doncaster Rovers also saw him score at a ridiculous rate. (Appearances 179, Goals 85)

Keith Walwyn (Striker) 1981-87

Another brilliant goalscorer, Keith Walwyn, also notable for being one of the first black players to turn out for City. In less than 300 games, Kittitian Keith netted 140 goals, making him twice Clubman of the Year (one of only eight players to do so); his scoring record at York is bettered only by Norman Wilkinson. Despite a less prolific later career at Blackpool and Carlisle, Walwyn remains a York icon. After his footballing career ended, Walwyn opened a sports store in the Preston area. Walwyn passed away in 2003 aged just 47, but was immortalised with a duly named ‘Keith Walwyn Lounge’ at Bootham Crescent. (Appearances 291, Goals 140)


Nick Pope (Goalkeeper) 2013 & 2014

In five years at Charlton, Pope amassed nine loan spells, two at York, before stepping up to the first team in 2015. Fan favourite at Bootham Crescent, he was a part of the club’s winning run under Nigel Worthington in 2013/14 where the Minstermen sneaked into the playoffs after finishing 2013 in a relegation fight and then losing only two games up until the end of the season. He was snapped up by Burnley in the summer of 2016 and has since made nearly a hundred appearances for the Premier League club, alongside four England caps. (Appearances 24, Clean Sheets 16)

James Meredith (Left-Back) 2009-12

Australian born James Meredith first played for Derby County, after being spotted by a scout in Melbourne. He also had a stint in the Republic of Ireland with Sligo Rovers and then a successful loan at AFC Telford led him to sign for York City. Meredith, soon made Wembley Stadium his second home visiting three times, winning an FA Trophy and then earning promotion to Sky Bet League Two. Since then, Meredith has gone from strength to strength and is now playing Down Under for top-flight Macarthur FC following successful spells at both Bradford City & Millwall. (Appearances 162, Goals 3)

Paul Stancliffe (Centre-Back) 1991-94

Yorkshire-born Stancliffe spent all but one year of his career in God’s Own County, racking up three hundred appearances for each of Rotherham United & Sheffield United. Bootham Crescent was a fitting home for the last years of his career, and captain Stancliffe guided City to promotion in 1993 during a three-year stint, beating Crewe Alexandra at Wembley. He’s now been behind the scenes at Doncaster for fifteen years, managing their under-18s. (Appearances 103, Goals 3)

Scott Kerr (Centre-Midfield) 2011-13

Kerr spent only two full seasons at York, but still made a not insignificant impact on the club. Another from the 2011-12 team that returned City to the Football League, Kerr was nearly thirty when he arrived at Bootham Crescent, having already had lengthy spells at Scarborough and Lincoln. His experience was a great asset to the side, and, despite a season-ending injury in March 2012, he earned the accolade of Clubman of the Year. Departing York a year later, he saw out his career at a string of northern non-league clubs. (Appearances 89, Goals 1)

John Byrne (Striker) 1979-84

One of the most talented and skilful players to ever appear for the club. Byrne began his career at York as an apprentice after being recommended to then City Manager Wilf McGuiness by a taxi driver. He helped the team to the Third Division with promotion in 1984. Well known for the outstanding partnership up front with Keith Walwyn. After being named best Fourth Division Player in 1983-84 before he was snapped up by QPR in for £100,000 and later played in France before returning to England and finishing his career with Whitehawk. Byrne also made 23 international appearances for the Republic of Ireland. He now works for the NHS. (Appearances 199, Goals 64)

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